The North and South Aisles
The core of the south aisle wall is probably of the early 1300s, apart from its western bay, which was added in RM Phipson’s restoration of 1872-3, when the aisle received its present roof. The north aisle, which was added to the church in 1851 to the designs of Henry Roberts, was also extended one bay westwards in 1872-3, continuing Roberts’ simple timber and plaster roof.
Stained glass and memorials in the Nave and Aisles
North Aisle, west window – Jesus about to heal the centurion’s servant and the baptism of Cornelius by St Peter, in memory of Major Charles Poore Long (died 1871). This window, by Ward & Hughes, was moved here from the north wall of the chancel when the organ chamber was added in 1908.
North Aisle, east window – Two angels with scrolls. Although now difficult to see and appreciate, this glass is of interest because it was designed, painted and given by two young and talented local artists – Mary Jane and Bessie McKean – and was installed by local glazier Benjamin Howlett, in 1872. The McKean sisters (then aged 27 and 23) were the unmarried daughters of Michael McKean, grocer and draper, and ‘chancel-warden’ at St John’s.
South Aisle, west window – Jesus’ ascension into heaven, portrayed in brilliant colour in glass by O’Connor & Taylor, but designed by Louisa Beresford, Marchioness of Waterford (1818-91), who was a friend of John Ruskin and a renowned pre-Raphaelite artist and book-illustrator. The faces of the eleven disciples have such distinctive characters that one wonders if they could be portraits of real people. The window commemorates four children of William and Eleonora Long – Eleonora (+1831 aged 3 months), Francis (+1845 aged 1year 1month), Charles (+1871 aged 37) and Edward (+1872 aged 36).
North aisle, north wall – Wall memorial to John Charles Crampin (+1869) and Ann (+1897, aged 96). Framed by the renowned Thomas Thurlow’s exquisitely-carved gothic stonework, this commemorates a Saxmundham stock valuer and appraiser, grocer. draper and generous benefactor.
North aisle, east wall – Wall-plaque, with a delightful tribute, to medical practitioner Robert Freeman (+1845) and Mary (+1857). (Originally against the former north nave wall).
East wall, beneath south arcade – Brass plaque to 2nd Lieutenants Harry (+1915) and John Row (+1916), sons of William and Emily Row; both killed in World War 1. Their father was a maltster and merchant, who lived at North Lodge, Saxmundham.
South aisle, south wall – War Memorial plaques commemorating the 40 Saxmundham men who lost their lives in World War 1 and 13 in World War 2.